All the World's a Stage...The Performing Arts & COVID-19

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All the World's a Stage...The Performing Arts & COVID-19
Deborah discusses the impact of COVID-19 on the Theatre.

Covid-19 has knocked the world sideways. All sectors of our lives have been affected in almost all countries. One of the worst hit is the theatre sector. I’m referring to the smallest community theatre such as Charles Cryer in Carshalton, to the mother of them all, the London Palladium.

On television and online there have been productions of Shakespeare, opera, and ballet, relayed to those who couldn’t afford to go to the theatre or perhaps wouldn’t usually think of attending such a performance, illustrating one benefit of the lockdown on the arts.

However, in London alone there are 241 theatres and it is devastating that theatres remain closed out of necessity due to social distancing. Surely this term will enter the Oxford University Dictionary any day soon?

Cleaners, doormen, costume designers, actors, directors, electricians, cloakroom attendants bar staff, ushers, box office staff, cafe attendants, make-up artists, painters & decorators, playwrights, set designers, sound engineers, stage hands, stage managers… Just a quick look at the range of roles associated with London’s theatres demonstrates how many professions have been affected by the lockdown. Not surprisingly, there have been calls for the government to support the re-opening up of theatres.

On 22nd July, Beverley Knight performed at the Palladium to rave reviews - the theatre had an occupancy rate of 30% as its owner wanted to demonstrate the feasibility and possibility of having theatres up and running again.

Who cares if theatre is down? All of us should - it deserves level pegging with that of the hospitality, health and retailing industries. The creative arts display the range of human emotions we are all subject to at some time in our lives: love, hate, joy, despair, passion, dreams. Any subject can be played out on the stage and reimagined - we can all relate to what is put on for our pleasure.